People Staff
April 19, 2004 12:00 PM

Now that the world knows she’s the one who won the heart of Average Joe‘s Adam Mesh, Samantha Trenk is ready to make an announcement: “The wedding is next year!”

She’s kidding. But Mesh, playing along, gazes at her with the same expression he wore after getting jilted on the first Average Joe. Resembling an oversize puppy that isn’t sure it’ll ever be petted, all he says is, “No?” Truth is, the 28-year-old stock trader already has plenty invested emotionally in Trenk, 24, a Barneys saleswoman who lives just 11 blocks from him in Manhattan. At the end of three weeks of rapid courtship—taping ended March 14 and the two have been kept apart since—”all I wanted was to be with her,” says Mesh. “The whole fantasy of the show continues indefinitely now. Sitting at home, ordering food and watching TV—that’s now a fantasy date for me.”

Takeout is fine with Trenk. “I try to cook,” she says. “I’m just not good at it.” She’s a lot happier dressing up her beloved Maltese, Chloe, who recently tagged along on a date with her owner and a perplexed Mesh. Trenk’s other passion? Shopping, of course. “Shoes, bags and jeans are my weakness,” she says. On the show these tendencies set off alarms with Mesh’s parents (who, coincidentally, once owned a Livingston, N.J., clothing store that Samantha often visited as a child). They advised him to pick runner-up Rachel Goetz, a schoolteacher who seemed more nurturing. But now the folks see it Adam’s way. “Sam might be more fun,” says his mom, Andrea Mesh, who got all farklemt on-camera when she would talk about Rachel. “Adam loves fun. Besides, I used to dress my dog.”

Mesh hopes that there’ll be fun and games in his future. “I want to be a correspondent for NBC during the Olympics, hopefully with Sam,” says Mesh. Then he laughs. “We could do a behind-the-scenes dating show for the athletes.”

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